Thursday July 26th.
Raven squawked “get up ladies you have slept in past the high tide” Raaaak raaak so we arose from our blue tarp voyageur lean-to on the gravel just below the high tide line.. Once I got over worrying about the bugs biting me all night long and I cooled down a bit, sleeping was easy and very cozy in between the rocks and kayaks. Blue tarp under, double thick – Blue tarp lean-to over, bed pad sleeping bag, 1 cedar log shelf with bear spray and head lamp and a good night sleep was had. (Of course, my bowie knife was at arm’s length.) To reload our kayaks and launch, we had to perform one at a time, a balancing act on fucus, rocks and barnacles. That sucked and resulted in poorly packed boats and 2 hours to get everything done. Then we were off into a light fog against current up Tolmie channel next to Susan island with our goal of finding a safe camping spot and not paddling very late into the day. Yesterday was very tiring and this area is known for not having any camping or pullout spots. We paddled by a couple of waterfalls. The sound is amazing – At the 3rd one I decided that since the sun was almost out a bath in a waterfall was needed. So we pulled up alongshore tied off our boats on the barnacle rocks. Traci C had the soap and I the enthusiasm as we very carefully crept along the slippery black rocks towards the water. The fresh water was cold, but to our surprise not as cold as Tolmie channel. It was great to rinse off some salt out of hair and clothes. The cost of clean was to be cold for the next couple of hours- I think it was a fair price to pay. After lifting our loaded kayaks off of the rocks they had been stranded on, from the dropping tide, we worked our way North again to a point that becomes a couple of islands at high tide. We will hang out here this afternoon and carve a sleeping area out of the moss and trees for tonight. Smelly food and gear on one rock, Tent on the other.
Thursday afternoon… as the tide comes in I caught up on writing, hung out on this rock, got a sun tan, dried off all of my gear, charged up my solar panels, ate and rested. Quite a view up the Tolmie channel as we wait for our kayaks to float up to our ledge. I should fish, I should take a nap, decided the nap was best.
Getting off our rock island was a pain! I have 100 new little bug bites. More packing, unpacking loading in the water on a rock ledge. We decided last minute to go back and put the food on the mainland point downwind from us to avoid more of the same in the morning. Traci went back and forth for the food while I tramped out a tent space and set up the tent on the point while bugs swarmed me. You just have to deal with it and get the chores done. Paddling is the EZ part, it’s all the moving, packing, unpacking, and finding a safe spot that is difficult. So this is a restful day that is difficult. – Let’s hope the Raven that carefully watched our every move all afternoon and the noisy crows that harassed it don’t make too much of a mess of our food gear. Of course, I hope for no other large animal encounters. The tents in a good position, its just my kayak and food containers that will probably get messed with. We will see what happens. Raven is currently flying right over the tent and dropping dirt on it. Now here come the crows. Kraaa, Kraaa, Food, food, food- Raven wings, biting bugs.
You just never know what animals will harass you next out here.
Mile 585, North Sarah Island
Conditions: fog turning to sun, light S wind; barometer dropping to 1012
Shorter day because we are tired, and since it is too far to Butedale to make it in one day, and camping spots are scarce: here we are. We slept good and hard last night in a Voyager Canoe-style camp. There was a small flat spot on the beach just above high tide, so we put down one tarp, and stretched the other over the boats and rocks, using the spare paddles to keep it off our faces. Other than the incessant bugs, it was perfect. I slept in clothes and headnet to keep the bugs off.
We were actually awakened at high tide by a raven. BAWK. It was foggy. At the same time some unseen boat went by. Fortunately we are at neap tides, so we stayed dry. Launch was an unpleasant scramble – extra food to be crammed in, and the box we shipped the food in to be carried as well, and a workspace where only one boat could be loaded at a time.
We paddled in the grey, maybe two shades present. Navigating by compass. We heard water and paddled to the shore of Sarah Island. Beautiful waterfall! T2 wanted a shower, but having been on the water for less than an hour and the sun still to appear, we passed. We encountered two more, and at the third the sky was starting to clear, and T2 REALLY wanted a shower, so we tied up. Scrambling over slippery rocks was tricky, but the water was clean and fast – and surprisingly warmer than the sea. We got clean and scampered back to the boats, which were trying to beach themselves in the falling tide. Water moves very, very quickly around here. Chilled, I put my jacket back on, and we set off with the sun showing and a following SE breeze. Thank goodness not a headwind! I may smell better, but now I’m cold. Not sure this is the choice I would have made, but T2 is very happy.
We found our small islet/peninsula just south of the north point of Sarah Island, where we are eating, resting, and drying (eternally drying) our gear.
Last night T2 lost her sunglasses while scouting possible campsites on a small islet. She didn’t realize it until we stopped for the night. She was mad. After unloading gear she paddled back, and much to my astonishment, FOUND HER SUNGLASSES. Never underestimate this woman when she is driven!